Mobile technologies, which allow users to move around while maintaining the ability to access a network and its services, now claim a significant degree of attention in both industry and academia. In this vision, one particular attribute gains critical importance: location. The ability to pinpoint a mobile user’s location creates a new class of applications and services. These location based services (LBS) exploit the known location of a user to provide services dependent on their geographic context and personalised needs. However, as newer positioning technologies are introduced into the market with a greater level of location accuracy, and existing technologies are integrated to overcome limitations, issues pertaining to the use and potential misuse of location information rise to the fore. In addition to this, perhaps because LBS are so new, there has been limited investigation into exactly what effects the widespread use of these technologies may have. This thesis aims to rectify a gap in current knowledge by presenting a plausible scenario that describes how humancentric applications of LBS could change the world of tomorrow, based on the current state of development. It also makes several original contributions in an analysis of legal, ethical, social and technological issues that arise from the scenario.
Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.